It looks like pack of Wolverines ran through here. Actually, one did: a University of Michigan party got out of hand back in January. (Photo: Treetops Resort)
Three University of Michigan fraternity members are still paying for their winter break festivities in the worst way possible.
They’ve spent this week appearing in court facing criminal charges for a winter rager at a northern Michigan ski resort that reportedly caused $430,000 worth of damage and left the place looking like it had been carpet bombed.
On Monday, Matthew Vlasic was formally hit with a felony charge of malicious property destruction of $1,000 to $20,000 at Treetops Resort in Otsego County’s Dover Township. According to The Detroit Free Press, Vlasic could face a possible sentence of five years if convicted.
Two other members of Sigma Alpha Mu, chapter president Joshua Kaplan and Zachary Levin, face misdemeanor charges of letting minors use drugs and alcohol. If they’re convicted, they each could get up to 30 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
The charges are the fallout from a destructive ski weekend on January 17-18. About 120 University of Michigan students — many of them members of Sigma Alpha Mu and its sister sorority Sigma Delta Tau — were said to have taken part in the demolit… er, party. The Detroit Free Press reports, “there was damage to 45 rooms, and students destroyed ceiling tiles and exit signs, broke furniture and doors and urinated on carpeting.”
Since news of the party hit, Michigan’s Sigma Alpha Mu chapter was shut down while the University placed its sister sorority under disciplinary suspension for two years.
That $430,000 party damage assessment — up from initial estimates of around $100,000 — is a pretty impressive figure considering that these were mere college students. (Another group of University of Michigan students threw a party that same weekend at another resort that only resulted in $25,000 in damages. Amateurs.)
Trashing hotel rooms: it’s not just for rock stars anymore. (Photo: Getty Images)
Seeing the $430,000 figure made our jaws drop. And it also had us wondering how the Michigan party compared to others in the pantheon of hotel-destroying celebrations that weren’t thrown by rock icons, movie stars or Charlie Sheen.
Related: Bret Michaels Reveals How to Properly Trash a Hotel Room
Lawyer trashes Vegas suite
This attorney must have been auditioning for a part in “The Hangover” movies, considering the wild Vegas weekend he had. (Photo: AP)
Lawyer Robert Pearman earned national headlines, and endless comparisons to the hard partiers in “The Hangover” movies, for allegedly trashing his suite at the Encore Las Vegas hotel and casino. His bash wasn’t nearly as destructive as the Michigan one; damage was estimated at just under $100,000 (the casualties reportedly included floors, upholstery, a book on Michelangelo and a decorative vase). But to be fair, there were about 100 people involved in the Michigan incident, but police in Vegas said they found only a drunk Pearman and five women in that trashed hotel room.
Frat goes wild in the Poconos
The Maryland State Police got involved in a damaged hotel room case in the Poconos. (Photo: dfirecop/Flickr)
It really was a rough winter for hotels that rented to fraternities. About six weeks before the University of Michigan incident, members of the Delta Chi chapter at the University of Maryland allegedly trashed a villa at Fernwood Resort in the Poconos. Maryland state police reported about 75 - 80 took part in the party, and — obviously — they were drinking “large quantities of alcohol.” No word on how much the damages amounted to but, according to reports, Fernwood staff described the destruction as “extreme.”
Related: Are Americans the Rudest Tourists? The Worst Things Travelers Have Done
“Trashing hotel rooms isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? [Allegedly] Trashing a forest! (Photo: AP)“
Internet billionaire Sean Parker didn’t trash a hotel room for his opulent multi-million dollar wedding to Alexandra Lenas, but he had to deal with claims that he trashed an old-growth forest. For his reported $10 million nuptials (Parker has denied that figure) at a redwood grove in Big Sur in 2013, Parker transformed a privately-owned campground into a Tolkien-esque forest fantasy (the wedding attire was designed by the costume designer for the "Lord of the Rings” movies). California Coastal Commission officials said Parker did not get proper permits for the construction he did on the ecologically sensitive site and they questioned the environmental impact of the wedding. Parker countered that everything he did was environmentally friendly. He ended up paying a $2.5 million settlement to the CCC.
You get drunk frat boys near a golf cart, you know bad things are going to happen. (Photo: Thinkstock)
Another fraternity, another trashed property. Back in 2006, Lakeview Resort at the Lake of the Ozarks claimed Alpha Tau Omega’s Gamma Rho chapter from the University of Missouri threw a party that caused about $10,000 in damage. The co-owner of the resort told the Missourian the damage looked like a hurricane had hit. “Chairs and entire dining room tables were thrown in the lake,” he said. “Coffee pots, dishes. They were even able to get a golf cart and tried to drive it over a lake retaining wall.” Three days after the party, he said his staff was still picking beer cans off the ground.
Census takers rage in Canada
Good thing the partiers at this hotel worked for Canada’s census bureau: they could keep an accurate count of all the stuff they trashed. (Photo: Hampton Inn)
Going door-to-door for the census must be very stressful, but these Canadian census takers allegedly blew off a little too much steam. An enumerator for Statistics Canada reportedly threw a wild party at her Hampton Inn room in Brantford, Ontario back in 2011. Over the 11 day stay, Canadian officials said the census takers left a tally of terror, breaking furniture, damaging wallpaper, and ruining bed linens and carpets. All told, the damage came out to $6,000 (the Canadian government reportedly settled with the hotel for $4,000). According to a report, the census taker was very apologetic: she told officials she would have cleaned up the mess but she was in a hurry to get out of the room before 11. Next time, maybe she should consider a late checkout.
Did any of these kids end up going to the University of Michigan?
Hint: Leaving a hole in your hotel room wall is not a good way to get your deposit back. (Photo: Thinkstock)
Maybe these high school kids considered this college prep. Students from an Ontario Catholic high school went wild at a Niagra Falls inn back in 2011, reportedly trashing 22 of the 35 rooms they rented for a post-dance afterparty. According to the Niagra Falls Review, students allegedly put holes through the walls, ripped ducts from the ceiling, smashed a glass oven door, and even tore a Bible. The son of the hotel’s owner told the paper the damage to just one of the rooms would cost an estimated $50,000.
Seriously, what is it with Ontario?
Sprinklers and Canadian high schoolers can lead to an expensive combination. (Photo: Thinkstock)
Last December, a high school basketball player in Windsor, Ontario for a tournament reportedly set off the sprinklers at his hotel, causing $300,000 worth of damage. Unlike the other incidents on this list, though, this youngster’s destructive action reportedly was an accident — a very expensive, embarrassing, “I-will-never-ever-live-this-down” accident.
What’s Spanish for “sore loser?”
While the U.S. celebrated the men’s gold medal basketball win, their Spanish opponents apparently had a more destructive reaction to their loss. (Photo: Getty Images)
After a heartbreaking loss to the U.S. in the men’s basketball gold medal game at the 2012 London Olympics, members of Spain’s team reportedly reacted by trashing the apartments where they stayed during the Games. There were no reports of exactly what was damaged, other than the team’s national pride. But the New York Daily News reports the bill came out to more than $14,400. And that was just for winning the silver medal — can you imagine what they would have done had they won the bronze?
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